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Jorgensen 1 Heidi Jorgensen Ed Austin Dance 459 18 February 2014 Art and Spirituality When I think of the greatest

artist of all time, I think of my Heavenly Father. He created this world we live in, and He created each of us. To me, these are the biggest and finest pieces of art that have ever existed. Some people may not think of themselves as an artist, but the fact is that we are all a work of art, and we all have the ability to create something. We are all potential creators because we are like our Heavenly Father. I believe that anybody who creates is an artist. This can relate to many different aspects in our world: culinary arts, fashion design, technology, etc. Art is everywhere. An art that relates to my life specifically is dance. Dancing is creating different things with your body and to me, this connection between my body and the act of creating something is an extremely spiritual experience. Earlier in my life, I never connected dancing to spirituality. As I have grown, I realize that dancing cannot even exist without the spirit. There are principles that relate directly to the artistic lifestyle I have chosen, such as truth and integrity, centering our lives in Christ, and recognizing our divine potential. Honesty and integrity are different things, but they relate very closely to each other. David A. Bednar teaches that honesty is living the absolute truth and integrity is always doing what is right despite the consequences (I Will Not). The two go hand in hand. For instance, if I am not honest with myself, then I will start to lose my integrity. When it comes to getting any sort of job, I believe that a persons character is more important than their skills. People want trustworthy employees. Former apostle of the church N. Eldon Tanner said that, Integrity, or the

Jorgensen 2 lack of it, touches almost every facet of our liveseverything we say, every thought and desire. Its how we live our lives. There will be places I work, especially in the dance world, where not everybody believes in the same thing. Because I have chosen this lifestyle, and I have lived it strongly my whole life, I feel like I will not lose sight of who I really am when I enter a more liberal environment. However, there are never any guarantees. It is not hard to get caught up in the work and lifestyle of a professional environment and lose bits of yourself. But, I know that if I stay true to myself and to my beliefs, I will be unmovable. The Holy Ghost is always there to help and direct us. Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminds us that, The Holy Ghost is a certain and safe guide to assist all mortals who seek God as they navigate the often troubling waters of confusion and contradiction. I have made the choice to keep my integrity at all times. Especially in a performance-oriented career, I know I may be asked to do something that goes against what I believe in. I have already decided to follow the spirits direction and stick to my beliefs as a foundation. I know I would be lost without the knowledge and joy that I have from the gospel, and I know that if we keep that truth within ourselves, we will become better disciples of Christ wherever we go. A firm way that we can be disciples in all that we do is by centering our lives in Christ. I realized that I used to have separate boxes for different aspects of my life, but I have grown to understand that they all should fit together. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the focal point of my life. Everything exists around that idea. The art world is a beautiful one, but it can be a little risky as well. Sometimes you never know what the arts will produce, but something I find interesting is how much light can be shown by certain individuals who have that joy in their lives, despite what they may be presenting about. I did not really think about connecting my dancing with the spirit until I came to Brigham Young University. Having the opportunity to travel and tour

Jorgensen 3 around the world, I have noticed how people see light through our dancing. It is so interesting to hear what people say to us when we do not even realize the light that we are sharing. Audience members on tours have always said that there is just something different about BYU dancers. The reason truly is that we center our work in His gospel and glorify God. It is our challenge to strengthen and extend artistic work with Christ at the center of our work (Dayley). Certain work environments can be so dark, and I have come to realize a big purpose of why we are here on Earth. We all have been blessed with gifts or inspired to go certain routes with our education. Wherever we go, we will be spreading the light of Christ. Our areas of interest lead us all over the place, and then more people can partake of the light that we have the ability to share. We are taught not to be of the world, but we are in the world, and there is no avoiding that. So, we must go and help share about Christ through our words, deeds, or actions. The artistic, performance world that I have chosen to live in will enable me to share my spirit on stage and shed light in what may be a dark place. Dance is truly a way to center everything in Christ because of how much it uses every aspect of a human being: emotionally, spiritually, and especially physically. I feel most alive when I dance, therefore, I can share every part of me there is. We all have an ability to share something beautiful. Some people look at life so dimly, but really there is beauty everywhere. Look at all that God has created for us. The most wonderful creation is our body. As a dancer, I have come to extremely appreciate my body because it is the instrument that allows me to do what I love most. Elder Nelson states, Your body, whatever its natural gifts, is a magnificent creation of God. It is a tabernacle of flesha temple for your spirit. A study of your body attests to its divine design. We each have divine potential because we were created in the image of our Heavenly Father. With our divine potential, we also have a responsibility to keep our covenants if we want His spirit to be with us.

Jorgensen 4 We will receive inspiration suited to our individual and family circumstances and needs. Bednar teaches that we can and will be blessed with ongoing direction from the Holy Ghost. The spirit can guide us in our decisions that we make (That We May). If we have the spirit with us, we can find the beauty in the world around us and in ourselves. Something I love most about dance is that is helps me feel beautiful. I am able to use my bodyan incredible creationto express numerous messages to help people feel something. We each have the potential to see beauty, make beauty, and feel beauty as long as we remember our Heavenly Father with all that we do. Like I stated earlier, we all have the ability to create something, so we are all artists. Creativity springs out of our seeing possibilities that we have not seen before and out of seeing connections between patches of truth and beauty and responding to them in ways we have not done before. It helps expand our thinking (Maxwell). The arts help us express our joy and gratitude for God. I know I have been given a gift for a reason, and I am so grateful for the opportunities I have to share it. I am also grateful for the knowledge I have developed about creating a spiritual purpose for my dancing. The arts truly are a way of digging deeply into our whole selves, intellectually, physically, and emotionally, so that we can become more like our master creator.

Jorgensen 5 Works Cited Bednar, David A. I Will Not Remove Mine Integrity From Me (Job 27:5). byui.edu. 10 Sept. 2002. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Bednar, David A. That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us. lds.org. April 2007. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Dayley, K. Newell. Centering the Arts in Christ. byu.edu. 6 Mar. 2001. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Maxwell, Neal A. Creativity. lds.org. Aug. 1982. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Nelson, Russell M. We Are Children of God. lds.org. Oct. 1998. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Tanner, N. Eldon. Integrity. lds.org. April 1977. Web. 17 Feb. 2014. Uchtdorf, Dieter F. What is Truth. lds.org. 19 Jan. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.